ALL parts of the country are now on an 'emergency footing', the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said.

Speaking at the government's daily press briefing today (March 29) said it would be an ‘unprecedented step’ for British peace-time, and unlike anything the government has done since the Second World War.

Mr Jenrick added: "This means that we are establishing strategic co-ordination centres across the whole country.

"Each centre is led by gold commanders. ‘We are bringing together senior members of the emergency services, the police, fire and ambulance service, with local authorities and the NHS, to lead communities through this challenging period."

The communities secretary said members of the armed forces, along with ‘some of the finest military planners in the world’ had been embedded in these groups to help plan the ‘local response’ to the virus.

"The Government was bringing together senior members of the emergency services, with local authorities and the NHS to “lead communities through this challenging period, from Cornwall to Cumbria”, Mr Jenrick said.

"They will be using their expertise, judgement and leadership to ensure a comprehensive, co-ordinated and consistent response across the country."

Jenrick then said that one of the main issues the Government would be addressing was the provision of personal protective equipment, amid reports from frontline NHS workers that supplies are running out.

Announcing the establishment of new supply response team, he said that 170 million masks, 42.8 million gloves, 13.7 million aprons, 182,000 gowns, 10 million pieces of cleaning equipment and 2.3 million eye protectors had been delivered to 58,000 NHS trusts and healthcare settings including GPs, pharmacies and community providers.

“We simply cannot and should not ask people to be on the frontline without the right protective equipment,” he said.

“Every single GP practice, dental practice and community pharmacy has had a PPE delivery. All care homes, hospices, and home care providers have, or will shortly, receive a delivery.”

The UK death toll from coronavirus currently stands at 1,228, after 209 people died in the last 24 hours.